"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 21 May 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Hit & Run CXXXII


[terry 'psychic' colon]

So it turns out only Nancy

Sinatra found a graceful way to

miss Seinoff. It was just as she

settled into the defiantly

crappy final episode of

America's marginal

soufflé that Nancy got

wind of her father's decline

(NBC, which had Tom Brokaw tape

a special preemptive Sinatra

death announcement months ago,

decided to torment the Sinatra

family a third time by

scheduling the rebroadcast of

the Seinfeld finale on the same

day as the Chairman's funeral).

Nancy got on her walking boots

just in time to learn Frank's

melancholoy last words, "I'm

losing it," but cineastes who

study his influence may come up

with a kinder judgment. As noted

in a thousand retrospectives,

Ol' Blue Eyes rescued himself

from fading teen idolhood by

playing a troubled GI in From

Here to Eternity, and every

generation of pretty boys since

has abandoned the RMS Dreamboat

for the dark side. In other

words, they've Shocked Their

Fans by playing lunatics. Foxy

Leo DiCaprio is aiming to regain

cred by playing the title role

in the US$40 million version of

Brett Easton Ellis' American

Psycho, while hunky Vince

Vaughn will channel Norman

Bates in Gus Van Sant's remake of

Psycho - possibly the most

unnecessary motion picture since

the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong.

Throw in the edgier-than-ever

Johnny Depp as Duke in

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,

and you have enough madcap

beefcake to wipe away the memory

of Harry Connick Jr. in

Copycat. But the law of

diminishing returns is in

effect. Playing a serial killer

these days is about as daring as

playing a guy with a beard. Wake

us up when Ethan or Brad gains

300 pounds to get into character

as John Wayne Gacy.


[elliott smith @ the bottom of the hill]

While the unaccountable optimism

of the Zapata Corporation

generally has the entire North

American Web pundit population

shaking its heds, we can't help

but think that that's the point.

Without actually giving up any

money it wouldn't have otherwise

spent in its effort to retool

itself as a Web-based "global

network," it's managed to create

a memorable brand identity from

scratch in a matter of weeks:

Zapata, the company that

practices what Word preaches.

From our vantage point, its only

error so far was in choosing

sites as nominally viable as

Word and Charged - imagine the

response it would have gotten

had it decided to bestow its

illusory largess upon some

really gruesome Pliocene-era

catastrophe? Of course, Zapata's

reverse-firesale ads in The New

York Times and The Wall Street

Journal last week has us

dreaming of miracles: Will the

fledgling Web reanimator be able

to wrest control of The Spot

away from its current

parsimonious sugar daddy and

actually come through with the

capital required to bring back

Carrie, Lon, and all the other

Spotniks on a daily basis? We've

got our fingers crossed.


[rockstar looking suave]

If Ted

Nugent ate meat in the forest,

would anybody care? Dittmer,

Missouri's Double D Industries is

betting on the Motor City Madman

to move its new line of Ted

Nugent Gonzo Meat Biltong

products. While the Bon Sauvage

of the Gibson Byrdland may have

been persuaded by Double D's

history of beef jerky's

hunter-gatherer origins, that

doesn't mean he's beyond

ingenious meat concoctions;

flavors will include Original

Beef, Barbecue Beef, and The

Flamethrower. More varieties are

planned, all bearing the

market-moving imprimatur of the

Reverend Atrocious Theodocious.

"Someone going to buy an outdoor

snack - for those types of

people, Ted Nugent's name rings

a bell right away," Double

Downer Bryan Fisher wishes. Even

among the bow-hunting,



demographic, though, The Nuge

hasn't really had a power

seller since 1980's Scream

Dream. In fact, considering the

difficulties he's had extending

his brand to bow hunting and

P. W. Botha, it's most likely The

Amboy Duke who stands to benefit

by association with this

particular journey to the center

of the clogged large intestine.

As we await the arrival of Jerry

Blavat brand scrapple, Slim Jim

Phantom Slim Jims, and the

inevitable MC5 Steak-Ums, we

recall that The Nuge hinted at

this brilliant comeback scheme

in a Guitarinterview a few years

ago: "To the people in the

industry who thought they could

pass me by and thought they

could slow me down - hello, you

haven't been paying attention!

I'm still on your leg humping

wildly, and that's my stain,



[my guitar lessons and the coffee brown Mustang]

Like a giddy stockbroker telling

his clients that a market

correction is just another

buying opportunity, Russ

Voorhees sees the impending

collapse of the world's

computer-driven financial system

as an opportunity to build

anew. You've got a Year 2000

Problem? Here's a centrally

planned solution. Fifteen miles

north of Pierre, South Dakota, a

500-acre planned community is

a-buildin'. But this isn't a

chiliastic Levittown; Voorhees,

who claims a background in "law,

business, urban planning, and

real estate," wants to build a

New Urbanist community - in the

same postmodern tradition as

Disney's faux-Mayberry

Celebration outside Orlando.

Half-acre plots will let

residents of Heritage Farms 2000

enjoy neighborly conviviality -

and local self-rule. With

civilization due to fall, who

needs a constitution when you've

got covenants, conditions, and


courtesy of the Sucksters